Written for Mediaplanet’s Bones and Joints campaign.
Published in print inside the Toronto Star in September 2015.
Joints in the body function like a well-oiled machine, allowing our body to move and bend with ease. However, with time, that machine can begin to wear down, causing joints to malfunction due to conditions like osteoarthritis.
“Osteoarthritis is a painful condition caused by a gradual loss of cartilage in the joints,” says rheumatologist Dr. Evelyn Sutton, explaining that cartilage is the greasy surface that caps the ends of the bones that allows two bones to move relative to one another with little friction. As the cushion of cartilage wears away, patients experience joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting one in 10 Canadian adults, according to The Arthritis Society, and as the population ages, the prevalence of this degenerative disease is expected to increase.